Chris Lehman

Salem Correspondent

Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.

Chris is a native of rural Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He was born in the upstairs bedroom of his grandmother's house, and grew up in a 230 year old log cabin in the woods. Chris traces his interest in journalism to his childhood, when his parents threatened to take away his newspaper if he didn’t do his chores.

In addition to working full time in public radio for the past decade, Chris has also reported from overseas on a free–lance basis. He's filed stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda. He lives in Salem with his wife and child.

Read Chris's blog, "Capitol Currents: Dispatches From Salem."

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MegaMillions Lottery
4:25 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

State Lotteries Report Brisk Sales In Advance Of MegaMillions Jackpot

The jackpot for Friday's MegaMillions drawing is currently $540 million -- the largest in world history.
Photo credit: Flickr user vvvracer Northwest News Network

SALEM, Ore. – Sales are brisk across the Northwest for Friday's MegaMillions drawing. The $540 million lottery jackpot is being called the largest in world history. The high-profile jackpot also means state lotteries of Oregon, Washington and Idaho are anticipating a payday of their own.

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Governor's Mansion Radon
5:29 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Oregon Governor's Mansion Has Elevated Radon Levels

Neal Correy of EcoTech checks a radon monitor in the basement of the Oregon governor's mansion in Salem.
Photo by Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

SALEM, Ore. – The governor's mansion in Oregon has tested positive for elevated levels of radon. Technicians found the readings Wednesday when they picked up monitors left in the basement of the stately, two-story home known as Mahonia Hall. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

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Oregon Doulas
5:03 am
Wed March 28, 2012

More Mothers Look To Doulas As Oregon Explores Payment Options

Khai East used a doula when she gave birth to her daughter, Chloe.
Photo by Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

PORTLAND - An Oregon health agency is recommending the use of doulas as a way to reduce infant mortality among low-income and ethnic minority households. Correspondent Chris Lehman explains what a doula actually is and whether there's any money in the health care bureaucracy to pay for them.

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Northwest News
5:06 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Home Prices Continue To Drop In Seattle, Portland

"Home prices in both Seattle and Portland are down again. Photo by Timothy Ellis/Flickr
Photo credit: Timothy Ellis/Flickr Northwest News Network

Home prices continue to fall in the Northwest. New figures released show yet another drop in both Seattle and Portland.

The S&P/Case-Schiller Index measures housing prices in 20 large metropolitan areas around the country. The newest figures are through January and in them, both Seattle and Portland hit new lows for the current economic downturn. Average home prices in both cities are down about four percent from a year ago. Steve Thoele is an agent with Keller-Williams Realty in Portland. He blogs about housing trends in Oregon.

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Nat'l Gaurd Discrimination
5:39 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Oregon Alleges City Of Salem Discriminated Against Guard Members

Salem Oregon settles in National Gaurd discrimination suit.
Photo Credit: M.O. Stevens Wikimedia commons

SALEM, Ore. – The state of Oregon says one of its largest cities discriminated against fire fighters because they were National Guard members. The Oregon Department of Justice announced a settlement Wednesday with the City of Salem that puts the city under close federal scrutiny for the next three years.

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Juvenille Life Sentences
5:29 am
Wed March 21, 2012

Oregon Teen Killers Get New Chance At Parole

The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, DC. The Court heard arguments Tuesday about life imprisonment, without parole, for minors.
Photo by Wikipedia user: 350z33 Wikipedia

SALEM, Ore. – The U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday heard arguments about whether killers in their early teens can receive life sentences without the possibility of parole. Meanwhile, in Oregon, five teenage murderers are getting a chance at an earlier release date. The first of those young killers went before the Oregon Parole Board Tuesday. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman was there.

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Parole For Teen-Murderers
4:38 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

Convicted Teen Murderers Get Earlier Possible Parole

Conrad Engweiler addresses the Oregon Board of Parole during a hearing at the Oregon State Correctional Institution.
Image courtesy of pool video feed

SALEM, Ore. – Five Oregon murderers are getting a chance at an earlier parole date. They are inmates who are serving life sentences for crimes committed when they were teens. Two of the killers went before the Oregon Parole Board Tuesday. It’s the latest step in an ongoing controversy over how to treat these offenders.

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Green Jobs
4:15 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

West Coast Governors Predict Massive Uptick In "Clean Economy" Jobs

More "clean economy" jobs expect for the West.
Photo credit: Harvey McDaniel Wikimedia commons

The west coast is poised for a dramatic uptick in so-called "clean economy" jobs. That's the prediction issued Wednesday by the leaders of Oregon, Washington, California and British Columbia. But as Correspondent Chris Lehman reports, it's not clear if the region can actually pull it off.

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Windy Weather
3:51 pm
Mon March 12, 2012

Wind Buffets Northwest, Snow Could Follow

High winds brought down this tree on the grounds of Oregon capitol Monday.
Photo Credit: Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

High winds knocked out power for tens of thousands of people in northwest Oregon and western Washington Monday. The National Weather Service reported gusts of more than 80 miles-per-hour on the Oregon coast.

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Oregon Bald Eagle Recovery
5:21 pm
Fri March 9, 2012

Oregon Removes Bald Eagles From Threatened List

Bald eagle in flight. Oregon's population has recovered in recent years.
Photo credit: USFWS USFWS

Bald eagles are no longer considered threatened by the state of Oregon. The state's Fish and Wildlife Commission voted Friday to remove the iconic bird from the state list of endangered species.

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